LightSquared Says it Has Interference Solution

By Gary Kim September 21, 2011

LightSquared, which has been saying it has a filtering solution that will solve any interference issues between its terrestrial broadcasting network and GPS devices, has signed an agreement with Javad GNSS Inc. to develop the system.

The Javad GNSS system can be adapted to work with high-precision GPS devices including those already in the agriculture, surveying, construction and defense industries.

Pre-production units will be released for public tests in October, followed by mass production. High-precision receivers for positioning applications are expected to go to market by November 2011 and precision timing devices by March 2012. LightSquared says it has a solution to GPS interference

The hitch seems to be that the new filters are designed to be used on new GPS devices, not GPS devices already in use, nor the LightSquared transmitters. To the extent that it is the high-powered LightSquared transmitters, not the GPS receivers that are causing the problem, some would argue the more logical approach would have been to limit the interference at the transmitting source.

GPS users might not be mollified if the burden of retrofits is borne by the devices facing interference, rather than the transmitting source.

The GPS community seems unconvinced. “LightSquared has, as usual, oversimplified and greatly overstated the significance of the claims of a single vendor to have ‘solved’ the interference issue, the group says. "There have been many vendor claims that have not proven out in rigorous tests and the demanding tests of marketplace acceptance."

"The estimated 750,000 to one million high-precision GPS receivers now in use in the United States vary widely: there are hundreds of different high-precision devices used in performing thousands of different tasks.

“LightSquared also ignores that fact that availability of new products, even if confirmed, does not address this very large existing base of equipment. If and when solutions are available, LightSquared must accept responsibility for paying to replace the existing base of existing equipment with new products.

LIghtSquared also seems to have been snared in a growing probe of influence peddling and impropriety around government loans to Soylndra. Citing concerns over alleged White House influence in dispersing loans, California Republican Rep. Darrell Issa announced that the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee would begin an investigation into the wireless startup LightSquared. House to investigate LightSquared

Gary Kim is a contributing editor for TechZone360. To read more of Gary’s articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Rich Steeves

Contributing Editor

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